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Voices of ACES Blog

Graduate Student Appreciation Week: Meet Camila Bogarin, doctoral student in ABE

Camila Bogarin

It’s Graduate Student Appreciation Week! These students impact our college in such a positive way by assisting with research, mentoring other students and bringing creative ideas to higher education. Meet Camila Bogarin, one of our graduate students in the College of ACES:

Hi, this is Camila Bogarin. I am doing my PhD in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) program. I work on the treatment of wastewater from hydrothermal liquefaction, which is a thermochemical conversion process for oil production. The goal of our research is to produce bio-oil for jet fuel from wet biomass, while all the byproducts of the process are being reutilized. For this reason, the wastewater that comes from oil production is treated to increase the concentration of inorganic nitrogen forms that are essential for plant growth in soil-less production. To achieve renewable energy options that are well-rounded in a circular economy, the utilization of the available nutrients in the wastewater are vital parts of the development of this technology. While doing this work, I was also able to mentor dedicated undergraduate students in wastewater reutilization and treatment.

Moreover, here at Illinois, I could exercise my leadership in several places outside of the lab such as the ABE Graduate Students Association where we aim to help our colleagues to succeed professionally and academically by strengthening the community. Through other registered student organizations such as the Fulbright Student Association as part of the executive board I was able to organize activities in which we learned more about different graduate students’ culture and traditions. Thanks to these spaces I was able to grow personally and academically.

Thanks to my advisors I had the opportunity to present my work at international conferences and mentor undergraduate students. I can confidently say that my time in graduate school has helped me to become a better scientist in all aspects from experimental design to science communication. So, I hope that with my experiences in teaching, mentoring and research I will be able to become a professor after I finish my doctoral degree.